Bar Scene Book

A Poem
About Sex

Now that I’ve got your attention let me say
that this poem thinks it’s about sex, but it’s really about itself
It’s a poem gazing in the mirror
studying its eyes to find out who it is
It sits here on the page pretending it just happens to be there
though of course you know it got all fixed up for you
tried on one rhythm
then changed into another, it’s following you
out of the corner of its lines
It wants you
to pick it up and take it home

this poem will touch you
the way you always wanted to be touched
in a place you’ve never been touched before
It seeks intimacy above all, no matter what it claims
Passion. Romance. Obsession.
To be on your mind later when you are alone
That should be obvious by now
So dream yourself inside it, pretend you know what the poet meant
Seduce his flirt of a poem, make it
take off its words for you

And only then
will it whisper to you in the dark
of the dying light of a winter afternoon
of the way the flesh curves at the small of her back
of the friends he had who died too young
of the best friend who broke his heart
of that kiss from Harriet Miller, when he ended it decades ago
on some street corner on Long Island
before she turned and walked away, sobbing
How the dampness clung to his lips ….

Let me confess right now that there was a time I saw sex
as little more than a reaching out into the void
and taking. But I’ve learned
It’s not a stroke or a thrust or a grab
or the use of “technique”
but the closing of a circle
that leads back to you, to itself
to the thing you tried to take
to the thing you name in the dark
to the thing that poems are
So do it with this poem
It’s the same as you
It wants to be taken
It wants to become yours

– Published in Lips

Go to the next poem in the poetry gallery